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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 19:30 GMT
Hunt supporters 'to defy law'
Hundreds of hunting supporters in Cumbria have signed forms pledging to carry out acts of civil disobedience if their sport is banned.

The meet at Rydal, in the Lake District, was the first of a number of such gatherings across the country.

The National Campaign for Hunting say they will collect tens of thousands of signatures and if people put their pledges into practice the justice system will not be able to cope.

But the MP for Carlisle, Eric Martlew, says if Parliament passes a law the police will enforce it.

Badger baiting

"We have got hunting banned in Scotland and it is taking its time, but it will happen here.

"They said the same about badger baiting ...and a lot of the huntsmen supported badger baiting at the time.

"But it [hunting] will be illegal and those who are actually caught will be prosecuted.

"What priority the chief constable gives it will be a matter for him but I'm sure the chief constable will say that if Parliament has passed the law, it is his job to uphold the law."

The BBC's Graham Satchell
"The government has to decide whether to use the Parliament Act to force a ban through"

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